Sunday, September 11, 2011

Robin Hood Double Bounces

I know that "Robin Hood" is not on everybody's favorite list of Disney features,
but there are many things I really like about this film, including this double bounce walk of the title character.
This type of walk was used more frequently during the thirties and forties.
It seems like every classic character did it, and Mickey Mouse himself double bounced quite often. As Disney characters became more realistic and graphic looking, this walk can be seen less and less.

What happens technically is that with every step the body goes up and down twice, instead of once. It communicates that the character is happy and sort of silly.

This is the first close up of Robin Hood in the film. 
Milt Kahl wanted to establish his carefree, happy go lucky personality here,
and it works beautifully. Taking a closer look at the xeroxed drawings, you will see that Milt worked hard at this scene. The positions of arms and legs are erased and redrawn many times, but the final movement is utterly natural.
Did I mention I love this scene?
Having just finished the pencil test, I have to say it takes my breath away all over again!  Here is a fox walking on two legs, and it looks completely believable.
It's pure magic. 
What isn't so magical is the way this scene hooks up with the scenes around it.
Those were animated by John Lounsbery, and they are good as well.
But Louns animated Robin in a standard walk, and the third scene doesn't hook up smoothly with Milt's either. 
I guess the guys weren't communicating with each other, what they were going to do.
More on the development of characters from "Robin Hood" later.